Double Bed vs Full: What's the Difference?

Written by
Purple Staff
Last Updated
December 1, 2022
|
7
min read

The difference between a double bed and a full bed is...nothing. Both double and full-size mattresses measure 54 inches wide and 75 inches long. The two terms are interchangeable, although most manufacturers prefer to use the term "full" these days.

How do you know if a double mattress is right for you? Below, we explore double mattresses even further, discuss their pros and cons, and how they stack up compared with other popular mattress sizes

And if you're looking for more mattress size comparisons and guides, check out our other blogs:

What's A Double Mattress?

A double mattress is a bed that measures 54 x 75 inches.

Before king and queen-size beds were introduced to the market in the 1950s, there were only two standard mattress sizes: single beds and double beds. Their names came from the number of sleepers the mattresses could accommodate. The terms "single" and "double" were eventually replaced with "twin" and "full" as furniture makers began to standardize their bed sizes.

Despite their name, however, double beds are not, in fact, twice the size of a twin bed. For reference, twin beds measure 38 x 75 inches while double beds measure 54 x 75 inches. This means that double beds are only 16 inches wider than twin beds.

So, what is a double bed actually good for? This mattress size works best for single people, particularly young adults who have just started living independently. 

Pros

  • It doesn't take up a lot of bedroom space. The minimum required bedroom size for a double bed is just 9 x 10 feet. In comparison, queen-size beds work best in rooms that are at least 10 x 10 feet, while king-size beds need 12 x 12 feet. Double beds are great for those with limited space in their apartments or bedrooms. 
  • It's more affordable than a queen or king-size mattress. Requiring fewer materials to make, double beds are often cheaper than bigger beds. As such, this type of bed is the perfect choice for young adults who are just getting the hang of living independently. 
  • It provides active sleepers with enough room to move around. Unlike twin mattresses, which don't provide much room for average adult sleepers to move around, double or full beds offer enough extra space for a single sleeper to stretch and move.
  • Its bedding accessories are readily available in most stores. As one of the most popular mattress sizes on the market, it's very easy to find bedding sets, mattress toppers, and the like for double beds. 

Cons

  • It's not suitable for couples. Don't let the name "double" fool you. Most couples will find the sleep surface of a double bed too narrow to accommodate two people comfortably. At worst, one or both partners will have to sacrifice their preferred sleep position to make a double bed work. 
  • It may be too small for taller sleepers. Double beds measure 75 inches or 6.25 feet long. Tall people over 6'2" may find double beds cramped, leaving them to keep their legs dangling over the edge or cramped in the fetal position. 

What Is a Full Size Mattress?

A full-size mattress is another name for a double mattress. All full-size mattresses measure the same length and width as double mattresses, clocking in at 54 x 75 inches.

Comparing Double Beds With Other Standard Mattress Sizes

Wondering how double beds compare to other popular bed sizes? Here's a quick guide for you:

Double Bed vs Twin-Size Bed

Twin beds measure 38 x 75 inches, while double beds measure 54 x 75 inches. This makes twin beds 16 inches narrower than double beds. 

Twin beds are recommended for kids, teens, and petite adults, while full beds are best for single adult sleepers. 

Double Bed vs Twin XL-Size Bed

Twin XL beds measure 38 x 80 inches. With an extra five inches in length, twin XL beds are designed to accommodate tall sleepers. Twin XL beds are also popular in college dorms, as their narrow size makes them an excellent choice for bunk beds in small bedrooms. 

Double Bed vs Queen-Size Bed

Queen beds measure 60 x 80 inches. Queen beds are only six inches wider than full beds, but this extra sleeping space makes this bed one of the most popular choices for couples. Those six inches give users additional leg space and a bit more room to claim some personal space on their side of the bed. 

Double Bed vs King-Size Bed

King beds measure 76 x 80 inches. They're a full 22 inches wider and five inches longer than double beds. As such, king-size beds provide ample space for basically any sleeping position. 

The biggest drawback to a king-size bed, however, is the amount of floor space it takes up. You'll need a bedroom that is at least 12 x 12 feet in size to comfortably fit a king-size bed.

Other Standard Bed Sizes Chart

See each bed size, their dimensions, and who they're best for in this handy bed dimensions guide:

Size

Mattress Dimensions

Bed Frame Dimensions

Ideal For

in.

cm

in.

cm

Twin

38” x 75”

96.5 x 190.5 cm

40-43” x 77-80”

101.6-109.22 x 195.58-203.2 cm

Single sleepers

Twin XL

38” x 80”

96.5 x 203.2 cm

40-43” x 82-85”

101.6-109.22 x 208.28-215.9 cm

Single sleepers on the taller side

Full

54” x 75”

137.2 x 190.5 cm

56-59” x 77-80”

142.24-149.86 x 195.58-203.2 cm

Single sleepers who want more space in bed or couples who don’t mind sleeping close to each other

Queen

60” x 80”

152.4 x 203.2 cm

62-65” x 82-85”

157.48-165.1 x 208.28-215.9 cm

Single sleepers, couples, or those who prefer to sleep beside their small kids and/or pets

Super king

72” x 78”

182.9 x 198.12 cm

74-77” x 80-83”

187.96-195.58 x 203.2-210.82 cm 

Couples who want something bigger than a queen bed but don’t have enough space for a standard king

King

76” x 80”

193 x 203.2 cm

78-81” x 82-85”

198.12-205.74 x 208.28-215.9 cm

Couples with at least 12 x 12-foot or larger bedrooms or want more personal space in bed

California king

72” x 84”

182.9 x 213.4 cm

74-77” x 86-89”

187.96-195.58 x 218.44-226.02 cm

Tall couples who need extra room to stretch out

 

Factors to Consider When Deciding Between A Double Bed vs Other Bed Sizes

No matter what type of mattress you're thinking of getting, you have to consider the following factors before hitting the shops:

Room Size

We've discussed this in the previous sections but it bears repeating. Your bedroom has to fit into the minimum required room size for the mattress you want. Otherwise, you'll be stuck with very little floor space to walk around and store other furniture.

Your Sleep Preferences

Do you toss and turn at night? Do you sleep splayed out like a starfish? Do you prefer cuddling? All the answers to these questions determine what size of bed you should get. 

If you're an active and/or hot sleeper who needs a lot of space to move around, then you're going to want a bigger bed. If you sleep like a log and/or enjoy cuddling with a partner, perhaps you can get away with a full or double bed. 

Price

As mentioned, the bigger the bed, the more expensive it will be. Consider how much money you're willing to set aside to pay for a new mattress first, then work your way backward to determine what size of bed you can get.

Number Of Occupants

Are you a single sleeper or do you have a partner(s) you wish to share your bed with? This will help you decide whether getting a bigger bed is worth the extra price. 

Which Bed Size Is The Best For You?

The best bed size depends on several factors, including your sleep preferences, budget, room size, and the number of sleepers who will use it. The truth is, there is no perfect mattress size. But with a little bit of research, you'll be well on your way to finding the best bed to fit your unique needs. 

Whether you're looking for a full-size bed, a queen, or a king, Purple has you covered. We offer a range of bed sizes, from twin to California king, and a variety of firmness levels, from the stable, supportive medium-firm Purple Mattress to the pressure-relieving, body-contouring plush Purple Hybrid Premier 4.

Learn more about our mattresses and bed frames on our product page. 

Double Bed vs Full FAQs

Is a double bed the same as a full?

A double bed is the same as a full bed. The two terms are interchangeable and stand for beds that measure 54 inches wide and 75 inches long.

Can 2 adults sleep on a full-size bed?

Two adults can sleep on a full-size bed, but it may not be comfortable. 

What is the most popular bed size for couples?

The most popular mattress size for two adults or couples is the queen-size bed.